At least 644 farmers have received agricultural inputs from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme to boost local production of maize in Delta state.
The inputs which included improved seedlings, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, harvest- bags and fertilizers were given out during a ceremony by the Maize Growers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, MAGPAMAN.
Speaking at the ceremony, the state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Julius Egbedi, said the input improve the livelihood and income of the farmers.
“I wish to tell you today that the state is making all efforts to support land development for agricultural purposes,” he said.
Similarly, the state Chairman of MAGPAMAN, Dr oghenesuwe Okpara, said that the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of the CBN was conceived to encourage food security.
He assured that the inputs would be utilized for the desired results.
He said: “Our area of coverage in the state includes 35 hectres of land in Ubulu Uku, Ubulu Okiti, 600 hectres of land in Abraka, 100 hectres of land in Sapele and 30 hectres of land in Asaba.
“I stand to verge today that the farmers involved in this development opportunity are men and women of integrity.
“They will be strictly guided by the purpose for which this initiative has been established and will not behave in consonance with the old order.”
The Head, Development and Finance Office of CBN, Asaba branch, Elias Nworie, explained that if Delta State performed well this season, the bank would commit more resources for the expansion of the scheme.
He added that the project was primarily commissioned to ensure food security and empower small scale farmers to do more and earn more income.
He said: “It’s not a grant but a loan given to farmers in the form of inputs, because some of us are not very good with managing the physical cash.
“We decided that it will be better to give inputs so that the farmers can farm with them and then pay back in kind.
“The association and CBN are partnering to appoint buyers of the produce.”